George Bennett has dropped back on the jam-packed general classification at the Giro d'Italia after encountering more bad luck on stage 16's time trial.

Bennett lost time to most of his rivals, coming home three minutes and four seconds behind the winner of the stage, Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis.

Dennis took advantage of the 34.2 kilometre course to leap past Bennett - and several others - into fifth in the general classification, with Bennett falling into tenth place.

Once again, it seems luck wasn't on Bennett side. After suffering a mechanical issue on Monte Zoncolan, Bennett this morning experienced technical problems with his bike.


His Lotto-NL Jumbo team described it as "pure bad luck, which neither a constructor nor mechanic can be held responsible for," and it set Bennett back to 7.01 behind leader Simon Yates.

Yates remains in the pink jersey after fighting well in the time trial. He only lost 1.15 to Tom Dumoulin, maintaining a 56 second lead over Dumoulin, and confirming his status as overwhelming favourite to take out the title.

Of the riders in top 16, Bennett only beat one of them - Thibaut Pinot. While he was expected to lose significant time to the likes of Dennis, Dumoulin and Chris Froome, his issues meant he couldn't keep pace with his rivals chasing a top five finish.

Bennett, who sat in 37th through the 12.7 kilometre checkpoint and 51st after 25.6, ended up finishing in 56th, losing precious seconds which has put him in a precarious position on the general classification.

The 28-year-old now sits nearly two minutes outside of a top five finish, and just under a minute behind Richard Carapaz in ninth. Additionally, the riders in 11th and 12th are now within 32 seconds of eclipsing Bennett's position in the top 10.

That's unlikely to happen however - Bennett should make up some of that time in the mountains, and a final placing in the 6-10 range looks most likely as we head into the final days of the Giro.

There should be no time gaps for the general classification contenders on stage 17 tomorrow, before the riders tackle the three remaining mountain stages, which will decide Bennett's fate.

Niall Anderson is covering every stage of the Giro d'Italia live for the Herald. Like some riders, he is suffering badly from week three fatigue.
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Stage one